'End times are here' says self-proclaimed prophet
March 19, 2020
David Powell chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to nail his manifesto to the door of the Governor's Mansion in Juneau. It cost him an arrest and a $450 fine.
But Powell has been respectful of people and property in Haines, according to Haines Police and clergy.
"He's not accosting people. He's just doing his thing," said Officer Brayton Long of the Haines Police Department. "He told me, "I may step up to the line here and there. Let me know if I'm going over it."
The self-described "prophet" and pilgrim from Soldotna roamed downtown Haines this week with a staff-sized cross and a cardboard sign warning of "The Tribulation." Forest fires behind his five-acre homestead near the Funny River set him off on a statewide pilgrimage last August, he said.
"They were thinking of letting it burn," he said. The coronavirus pandemic has reinforced his thinking.
A 55-year-old miner and mill operator who grew up in Sedro Woolley, Wash., and came north for the Exxon Valdez cleanup, Powell said he's "100 percent" sure he's also a prophet. "All my life I've seen what was coming. Now I see what's coming right in front of us, a couple weeks out."
Powell believes the world is approaching the second coming of Christ, as foretold in the Bible. He expects "pirates" will come to Haines from Juneau to rob the town of cash and booze. "That's my vision. Pirates are coming. That's what I'm telling people today."
He also advises moving buildings to high ground, because he expects a flood.
"I'm sure we're entering the (end times), the end of the church age and the beginning of the kingdom age. The overlap is the tribulation," he said. "It's going to change in a few weeks. The banks will close. Everything will change."
Powell said he has an Inupiat wife in Soldotna (he wouldn't identify) and three grown sons. What does his wife think of his mission? "She thinks it's a bit extreme but she knows I've had this relationship with the Lord my entire life," he said, adding that she's understanding "to an extent."
Powell is camping around town and hoping to "downsize" from some totes to a backpack before leaving town for Skagway and points north in a week. He said he's already taken his street ministry through Alaska's Railbelt communities and he gets by on a few dollars a day.
"I'm here for the people of Alaska. This is my job. I'm not trying to get rich off this," he said.
Presbyterian Church Pastor Dana Perreard, who has a brother who is homeless, gave Powell lodging in his home a few nights after Powell confessed to sleeping in the tool shed out back. "I really can't endorse or contradict his message," Perreard said. "I just wanted him to be a good team player and not get into any trouble in town... He's good company. He helped me with our firewood."
Re-enacting Martin Luther's famous posting of protest on a German church door, an act that triggered the Protestant Reformation, Powell used a "four-sided nail" on the governor's door which apparently caused enough damage for him to be charged with a felony. Powell said the nail was God's choice and was difficult to find.